No lady in his life at present but he remains faithful to X, his dog, who goes simply everywhere with him.

X has gone up the village and left the puppy with me in my study – which is not conducive to concentration, as I have to be constantly defending my bookcases from being ransacked. I wouldn’t mind if she was going to read them. She has already eaten two throat sweets from beside my bed today, and chewed the remaining two so that they will have to be thrown away.

…we are supposed to be going there next July. However X, the dog, missed us so much that if she is still alive we might have to cancel next year. She is on senile dementia pills now – which I might share with her!

No doubt you will remember the pet Bantams – sadly the inevitable happened this weekend and a neighbour’s dog enjoyed them for breakfast. I suspect that they disposed of the carcases in the skip they had out front, as there was very little evidence in their garden – just a few feathers and a couple of bones… They didn’t tell her what happened when she went to ask in the morning, and just let her search in vain all day – until she found the bones and feathers – they’ve still not apologised! She is hoping to replace the Bantams with a goldfish (the bright idea of one of her friends) but currently I don’t think I could cope with the trauma should Puss decide goldfish for brekky is a tasty idea!

They own a Doberman dog which is the most timid animal I’ve ever met. It was attacked by another dog as a pup and X thinks she has never quite recovered.

The kitten has grown – I can just hear you say ‘guess what!!’ or something similar! He is beautiful and probably the most spoilt in the world. Partner is gushier than I am! We had him fixed last week – he was v. sore for a day but seems to be back to normal now!

X has had a stray cat hanging around her house who seems very lonely and hungry – so she caught it as the vet said if she brought him in he’d rehouse it – but when she took it in last week the vet said he was very sick and it would be kinder to put him down – she was very sad – she is such a beautiful person and so kind.

We lost one of our tortoises yesterday. We have three and we think the big one crawled out of the box. As it is quite large we hope that it will be OK in the garden. The only worry is that it may get dried out, as there is no stream or drain near by. We’ve put dishes with water around, which the snails have made full use of.

naughty puss

Puss has recently been fattening himself up for winter and is now very cuddly! We have decided to put him on a diet as he does not need to be so heavy. I wonder if he has been visiting other plates sometimes! He can be very charming if it will get him a feed. When we won’t feed him he pulls everything off the front of the fridge! and then if he still gets no attention he pushes all the magnets under the fridge. Little Monkey!


We had to replace the dog, we now have another welfare dog, female, medium Boxer type with white short hair and a brown patch over one eye and ear!

Puss is still on the diet but doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller! 8 kgs! He is a big cat but is still overweight. We might have to try harder!

At the moment, we have kept our front field sheep-free so that all the outside dogs can enjoy a good run off the lead; it’s so good to see them hurtling about that I think we’ll leave it that way. Fortunately, all the cats and dogs are still with us – eight cats of assorted shapes, sizes, colour and temperaments, and five dogs. The two miniature wire-haired Dachshunds are now thirteen, and, apart from being a bit stiff first thing in the morning, still behaving like puppies. The greyhound left with us by a burglar, and the all-bouncing cross between a yo-yo and goodness-knows-what-else, have been joined this year by a third farmyard dog – a rescued Border Collie, who had been chained to a stake in the middle of a field with no shelter from the elements, for more than two years (nearly all his life, in fact). He was only supposed to be staying with us for one night, on his way down the escape route of safe houses, until he was well away from his previous owner. But he was in such a dreadful state that he really wasn’t well enough to travel any further, hardly being able to stand through lack of food or exercise. So we decided to keep him, as you do! We called him after the SAS man who ‘rescued’ him, and now, five months later, you would hardly recognise him as the same dog.

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